Protect Your Skin If You Want to Win

Hugh Royer III, renowned golf instructor and former PGA TOUR player, has come a long way in his recovery from skin cancer – and learned a lot about simple ways that recreational golfers can minimize their risk of getting it.

By Hugh Royer III

Spring is around the corner, and everyone should be getting ready for the golf season! Getting ready means doing such things as changing your grips on your clubs, getting loft and lies checked on your irons, and loading your bag with all necessities.

The next thing to do is get your body in shape by stretching, and practicing indoors or outdoors. Most important, everyone should take the time to be sure they are healthy when the golf season starts.

In preparation for golf season and your trip to Myrtle Beach, it is imperative that you invest in a good sunscreen. Sunscreen is a vital part of skin cancer prevention, and it will save your life. It should be used each and every day as part of your daily routine – just like brushing your teeth, or putting on deodorant.  For optimal protection, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with 30-50 SPF. The thicker, creamier sunscreens are used for drier skin and the face and ears, and the aerosol sprays are the most popular form of sunscreen used for ease of application. If the spray is your choice, be sure to apply generously so that it can soak into the skin.

Clothing is another means to protect your skin against sun damage, and an important preventive measure against skin cancer. Though many of us do not prefer it, wearing clothing that covers exposed areas of the skin is the best means to protect our bodies from the sun. The tighter the weave of the fabric, the better protected the skin is against UV radiation.

Synthetic fabrics or semi-synthetic fabrics are the best defense against harmful rays of the sun, compared to cotton or crepe materials. Thin or lightweight materials let in more UV light than heavier materials.  Darker colors or intense bright colors provide great protection so, if possible, wear blacks and reds along with other bright colors.  These colors deflect UV rays for better protection. Cotton is more comfortable, but it allows harmful UV rays to penetrate to the skin.

Wear loose-fitting clothes, because tighter-fitting clothes stretch and allow harmful rays to penetrate. When shopping for new clothes, look for the UPF tags that tell you how much protection is provided. Clothing has been called the first line of defense against the sun’s harmful rays, and is the single most effective means of sun protection. There is also a laundry additive that can be used that adds twenty days of UV protection, it is called Rit Dye Sun Guard.

Like many of you, I prefer a baseball-style hat. Some prefer visors. But for maximum protection, invest in a large-brim hat. Our head and neck receive the most exposure to the sun, so providing the best sun blockage is important. A wide-brim or floppy hat that is a minimum of three inches wide is essential for maximum coverage to protect the head, neck, ears and part of the shoulders. Be the person in your golf group that wears the cool, different hat, because it protects you against harmful UV rays of the sun.

Many people don’t like to wear sunglasses when they play golf, but they can add to the golfing experience as well as protect the eyes. Sunglasses can block 99-100 percent of harmful UV rays. There are many styles of sunglasses, but the larger the lenses, the better. The more they cover the eyes, eyelids, and cheeks, the better the protection against skin damage as well as skin cancer.

Take the time to invest in your health by preventing skin cancer. By following the suggestions I’ve mentioned here, along with the research that has been done on the effects of UV rays, you can make skin cancer prevention a simple schedule to follow. The more precautions you take, the lower your chances are of getting skin cancer.


If you want to win, protect your skin!

 To learn more about Hugh’s courageous recovery from the effects of skin cancer, click here.